GAUTENG MEC of Education Panyaza Lesufi said the department is
putting up an independent forensic unit that will probe the course of death in
the case of Katlehong Siblings.
The MEC visited the family of the siblings Sabelo (10) and Sanele
Mbatha (5) who died allegedly from food poisoning on Tuesday.
He said, “What is important is to establish what the cause and who
“I can confirm that our colleagues from the health department have
already taken the sample of the food.”
He said the independent forensic unit will analyse all the
Sinenhlanhla Mbatha (7) is said to be recovering is now out of
intensive care unit at the Thelle Mogoerane Hospital in Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni.
The 33-year-old mum, Phumzile Mbatha from Katlehong sat next to the
father of her children Bongani Ngondo (40), who had his hand on his head in
disbelieve as they shared the fond memories of their children.
Phumzile told Daily Sun that she received food from a tenant, who
said he couldn’t eat the food.
According to the family, the man usually share food with the
On Tuesday morning, before Sabelo and Sinenhlanhla went to school,
she prepared the food.
The container from the tenant contained pap, chicken and potatoes.
“I warmed up the food and gave it to them. When I accompanied them
to school, there was no sign that they were not feeling well.”
She said as she got back home, the 5-year-old Sanele Mbatha
shouted “Mama!” from next door where he had been playing.
“When I went to him, he complained about his stomach and that he
has eaten too much and also being dizzy.”
She said at that time, she thought he might have been constipated
and asked her sister, to assist with Eno.
After Phumzile put the Sanele to sleep, her sister Sibongile
Mbatha attended to a teacher, who had come to inform the family about Sabelo,
who fell ill and complained about similar symptoms the 5-year-old showed.
“When Phumzile went back in the house, to change her clothes so we
could head to the clinic.
“Just after a short while, I heard her screaming. Her son Sabelo
was now fitting (seizures), when he was taken to the car, yellow foam started
coming out of his mouth,” she said.
They then got into the teacher’s car, to the same clinic where
Sabelo was taken to.
Back at the school, Sinenhlanla also had the same symptoms and was
also rushed to the clinic for help, where he was referred to Hospital.
The distraught dad, Bongani Mngondo (40) said that his sons used
to love one another and used to play together.
He said the Sinenhlanhla and Sanele used to argue a lot, but the
older, Sabelo would play peacemaker and stop them.
Phumzile as disgruntled as she was, smiled with tears on her face,
when she shared the memories she had with her sons.
“They told me that they will work, and buy me a house,” she said.